TV advertising remains one of the most effective ways for brands to communicate their message to consumers, however, a new Australian study has found it’s also sending a lot of us to an early grave.
The study by Melbourne’s Baker Heart And Diabetes Institute looked at the health and TV viewing habits of almost 9000 Australians over a 12 year period.
It found people who watched two to four hours of TV per day had a 54 per cent higher risk of inflammatory-related death.
After the 12 year period, the study found 909 people who admitted watching two to four hours of TV a day had died and of the deaths 103 were inflammatory related. Inflammatory diseases cover a wide range of illnesses, such as Alzheimer’s, asthma, diabetes, kidney diseases.
It also found 80 per cent of people who watched more than four hours per day were 80 per cent more likely to die of a cardiovascular disease. While every extra hour of TV watching per day contributed to a 12 per cent higher risk of death linked to inflammation.
The study found that Australians who watched a lot of TV tended to be older, less educated, had lower household income, were smokers (or had smoked), already had existing health problems such as diabetes or hypertension, had poorer diets and had a more adverse health profile overall.
Lead author of the study and senior research officer in the Baker Institute’s Physical Activity Laboratory, Dr Megan Grace, said inflammation is a normal response where chemicals are released into the blood in response to a harmful event to help recovery. When the immune system senses danger such as stress or infection, it responds by activating proteins meant to protect cells and tissues. But Grace added that inflammation can become harmful if these chemicals hang around for long periods, causing disease.